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RockNES X
A NES and Famicom Disk System emulator for Windows reviewed on 7/20/2003 by Vincent T. Vantine.
"RockNES X is an NES and Famicom Disk System (FDS for short) emulator for Windows based on Fx3's DOS-based emulator, RockNES. This emulator is one of the most well-rounded emulators we've encountered for the NES."

RockNES X is a Windows re-write of the DOS-based emulator, RockNES. This is one of the only NES emulators which is capable of advanced hardware acceleration, allowing a large speed increase and extra enhancements depending on your video hardware. RockNES X has excellent compatibility with both NES ROMs and Famicom Disk System (FDS) ROMs and almost all of the Windows 9x / NT platforms. This emulator also features excellent audio and an excellent GUI. The only true downfall of RockNES X is it's netplay feature which is virtually unplayable.

Video Hardware Acceleration is a major advantage of RockNES X, very few NES emulators support it and it gives a substantial boost in video performance. This hardware acceleration allows for liquid smooth video and Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA), providing you have a video card which supports it. FSAA is a much needed feature on NES emulators, it allows the video card to smooth out jagged edges in the NES graphics, which are highly visible on computer monitors. If you have a high end video card, this feature alone makes RockNES X worth the download.

Compatibility with library of NES titles isn't a big issue for most of the better NES emulators, but compatibility with newer operating systems such as Windows 2000 and XP is. A few “classic” NES emulators were developed during the Windows 3.x / 95 era when Windows NT was not viewed as a viable gaming platform, thus many of the past emulators were not optimized to run on it, the majority of which were DOS-based. RockNES X scores an excellent compatibility rating across the board on almost all Windows 9x / NT platforms as well as compatibility on the majority of NES titles, RockNES X also supports flawless emulation of Japanese Famicom Disk System (FDS) ROMs.

The audio is another high point of RockNES X, the audio can be set anywhere from the lowest possible quality to reduce processing load on older systems, to the highest quality to provide full, clear and rich sound on higher end systems where the processing load isn't an issue. Very few titles run into any problems with RockNES X's audio emulation.

RockNES X's GUI is a basic Windows GUI plus a few bells & whistles. One nice feature of the RockNES X GUI is the ROM manager window, when set to the proper ROM directory, RockNES X displays all of the NES ROM files in that directory in a detailed view providing Size, Mapper, Battery and Trainer information. All of the option windows are presented in a very clean and easy to understand manner, this is certainly one of the best NES emulator GUIs.

Now comes the ugly part, RockNES X's netplay feature. For online gaming, this feature is virtually useless, at VTE the netplay feature was tested with one business ADSL connection acting as the server and one high end Cable connection acting as the client. Even with the high speed connection both ways, this emulator's netplay ran horribly, the slow speed made it unplayable. The only part of the netplay that actually worked was the simple chat window. The only place I could possibly see the netplay feature getting any use is over an un-congested LAN.

Whether it be for a high end or a low end system, this is the emulator of choice. RockNES X presents the most well-rounded emulation experience. The only downside to RockNES X is the practically non-functional netplay function.

Conclusion:

Compatibility:
RockNES X's compatibility is excellent on both the NES library of games and the Windows 9x / NT operating systems.
Stability:
Stability on RockNES X is unparalleled.
Video:
Being one of the few NES emulators to support advanced hardware acceleration, RockNES X easily takes the crown in this category.
Audio:
RockNES X's audio emulation is very configurable for both speed and quality settings and is excellent on its best settings.
Final Thoughts:
If you are looking for a well-rounded NES emulator for day-to-day use, RockNES X is your best bet. However, if you are looking for more specialized uses, you may want to consider some of the other recommended emulators.
Emulator Info

Screenshot

Author: Alexandre da Veiga
Netplay Support: Yes
Players Supported: 1
Homepage: Click Here
Platform: Windows
Version Reviewed: 2.0

Features Supported:
- Hardware Acceleration
- Save State
- Joystick Support
- Multiple Rendering Filters
- NESticle Save Sate Import
- FDS Support
- Full-Screen Mode
- Video Recording
- Netplay Support
- Game Genie Support
- Integrated ROM Manager